022 – Leslie Knighton’s team

As most will no doubt know Leslie Knighton was Arsenal’s manager immediately prior to Herbert Chapman. An interesting, open and popular man in football I’ve scanned an interview with him from Football Favourites magazine, and also a scan of a postcard of the 1920/21 teamgroup.


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2 responses to “022 – Leslie Knighton’s team

  1. Two things here that interest me:

    1) Knighton refuses to answer the question as to who picks the team – him or a committee. That to me says that it is a committee as if it was his choice alone he would have said so.

    2) He says that he has “friends” around the country who will watch players on his behalf. I believe that this would be a scouting network. In his autobiography, Knighton claims that he had to scout players by himself as he wasn’t allowed the luxury of a scouting network.

    • Hi Andy.

      On your first point I was always under the impression that Chapman was the first of our managers that did pick the team himself (although off the top of my head I’ve no idea why!) so just took that as the normal evasion from a manager back then trying to seem more powerful.

      As for the friends/scouts thing, maybe we’re straying into semantics there? I say that because whenever he talks about getting players in his book there’s always a friend or ex-colleague near by. By all accounts he was a very pleasant and personable chap and I would have thought that whilst not having an official paid by the club scouting network he very much had a bunch of people who would tip him off to a prospect.

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